Saturday, June 8, 2019

Social Media - Cat Photos Required

Jake the Cat 

Topic this week: Author behavior tips for social media.

Rather than offer a list of tips, I’m going to explain my own approach to social media because as with anything else about being an author, no one way works for every single person.

The primary directive I keep firmly in mind is why I’m on social media in the first place. It’s because Veronica Scott is an author, who wants to connect with other authors and readers and enjoy conversation with these and other interesting people. I didn’t start up my various social media accounts for a personal reason like staying in touch with my high school graduating class (although I do). I did not and do not share much in the way of personal details and photos and etc., of my life online. Pictures of Jake the Cat are okay. No, they're mandatory!

I don’t discuss my politics or any of the other subjects my Mother always said to avoid when in company. I have strong opinions and I will voice them to you if you’re here in my personal everyday life.  I vote, I donate, I take action, I’m involved, but not on social media because – going back to point one – that’s not what brought me to twitter or Facebook.

I keep firmly in my head the fact once an item is put out on the internet, it NEVER goes away.

I do my best to remember that humor and sarcasm may not  transmit very well in a text, tweet or post, and to be careful when tempted to quickly send a flippant response (or a heated one).

I try to stay out of the many mini, micro and macro dramas of the author world.

If it’s something I have to discuss or take action in regards to, I do it offline.

I keep firmly in mind that in a large group of thousands of people on Facebook, one truly never knows who is a member, who is a friend of who else, or an enemy of who else, who might be grabbing screen shots and sharing them – nothing is private, nothing can truly be held confidential on a social media platform. Even a private group is never truly private.

I keep in mind that there’s no way to go behind the screen and make sure everyone is actually who or what they claim to be. I accept people at face value BUT I maintain an awareness of how easy it is to put up a fake identity. Bots and scammers are everywhere, sadly.

I’m not the “mother of the internet” so it’s not my job to point out the error of their ways to folks who aren’t going to listen to me anyway because I don’t believe you can change a person’s mind by arguing with them on social media. If someone asks for an opinion (and seems as if they’re truly open to feedback, on a blurb or a cover for example, not just fishing for compliments) and I have something to add to the discussion, I may weigh in or I may not.

I also don’t overshare (I hope) about my books. I regard myself as a content curator and I like to tweet and share interesting tidbits and articles about writing, science fiction, science, movies, art, TV, books, travel, animals, military and veterans’ concerns, space travel, blingy earrings, cats – a wide range of things I’m fascinated by. I do a certain amount of retweeting book news from my author friends. I like to be supportive to others and I really appreciate their help.

I interact with readers about my books and other scifi romance or fantasy books and that’s fun. I always stay on the positive side though.

I do talk about my writing and my new releases and share snippets (usually on the weekly hashtags like #Bookqw or #SciFiFri) but it’s not my only reason for being at the social media party. I enjoy conversation with my friends in the social media world. I really loved the Sunday afternoon #rwchat on twitter (which sadly disbanded earlier this year) because it was a good chance to ‘talk’ with other writers and share experiences and suggestions.

I’ve tried new platforms on occasion but pretty much I’ve settled on twitter as my favorite, FB a close second and Instagram as one I’m working on utilizing more. I’m most comfortable on those three for now.

Social media helps me keep up on breaking news and trending topics...

In previous weeks we’ve discussed how easy it is to spend too much time online so I try to remember that as well but some days I’m just having too much fun, or I’m too appalled to walk away or I just feel like ‘faffing’ (a useful word my author friends in Australia taught me), so I stay.

So that’s me, doing what I do. Hope to see you online!


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